Hamas said to reject Israeli demand for information on fallen soldiers, captive civilians

August 9, 2018 by Yona Schnitzer - TPS
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Israel is demanding that Hamas provide information regarding missing Israeli soldiers and captive Israeli civilians held by the group, as a precondition to any alleviation of Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, the London-based pan-Arab daily Al Hayat reported on Wednesday.

The late Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin (left) with his father, Simcha. Hadar was killed in an ambush during an internationally negotiated cease-fire on Aug. 1, 2014. Credit: Courtesy Goldin family.

Two Israeli civilians, Ethiopian-born Abera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, a Bedouin, have been incommunicado since they crossed of their own volition from Israel into Gaza in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Hamas is also holding the remains of IDF soldiers Sgt. Oron Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin, who were killed in action in  Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

According to  Al Hayat, Egypt passed the Israeli request on to Hamas, which has rejected it.

Hamas for its part is demanding that all prisoners who were released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner in 2011, and have since been arrested and reincarcerated again by Israel, be released before any negotiations surrounding prisoners take place. Egypt has reportedly supported this demand.

On Tuesday night, the Turkish Anadolu Agency quoted a senior Hamas official as saying that Israel and Hamas will sign a long-term ceasefire deal at the end of August, which is supposed to last five years. Before the deal is finalized, Israel and Hamas will observe a two-week long “experimental” ceasefire.

On Thursday, Israel’s Security Cabinet is set to convene for a special meeting to discuss the long term agreement with Hamas, after which it is expected to present the deal to the Israeli public.

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